This quote is said to have been created by Shakespeare in in Henry VI, Part 3, where Lord Clifford urges the king against ‘lenity and harmful pity, saying:
To whom do lions cast their gentle looks?
Not to the beast that would usurp their den.
The smallest worm will turn being trodden on,
And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood.
Another, more current reference is this one from Funtrivia that explains the phrase in this manner.
“Worm” is a common term for ‘dragon.’ In fairy tale terms, the flying dragon spewing fire would ravage fields and villages. To be in the dragon’s path resulted in inescapable destruction. What a relief if it changed directions.
Some political worms have turned recently against Obama. The first was the reversal of an ACLU suit in Massachusetts.
In this instance, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) received federal funds to provide services to trafficking victims under the auspices of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. The contract between the USCCB and HHS contained provisions that the USCCB would not provide contraception nor abortion services The ACLU sued the Council of Bishops citing a conflict of the “Establishment” clause—the absence of contraception and abortion services in the contract between USCCB and HHS supported the anti-contraception and anti-abortion doctrine of the Catholic Church thus violating the Establishment Clause.
A federal district court had sided with the ACLU. The USCCB appealed. The First Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed the case and decided for the USCCB stating there was no violation of the Establishment Clause.
The ruling effectively negates forcing religious organizations with doctrine against contraception and abortion from being forced into providing those services not specifically required by contract. The ACLU argued the terms of any such contract between federal agencies and religious organizations could not exempt those services. This ruling may have significant affect to provisions of Obamacare.
The second instance of reversal to Obama’s extra-legal acts concerns his recess appointments to several federal agencies. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said that Obama did not have the power to make three recess appointments last year to the National Labor Relations Board.
Court: Obama appointments are unconstitutional
By SAM HANANEL, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama violated the Constitution when he bypassed the Senate to fill vacancies on a labor relations panel, a federal appeals court panel ruled Friday.
The unanimous decision is an embarrassing setback for the president, who made the appointments after Senate Republicans spent months blocking his choices for an agency they contended was biased in favor of unions.
The ruling also throws into question Obama’s recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Cordray’s appointment, also made under the recess circumstance, has been challenged in a separate case.
Obama claims he acted properly in the case of the NLRB appointments because the Senate was away for the holidays on a 20-day recess. But the three-judge panel ruled that the Senate technically stayed in session when it was gaveled in and out every few days for so-called “pro forma” sessions.
GOP lawmakers used the tactic – as Democrats have in the past as well – to specifically to prevent the president from using his recess power. GOP lawmakers contend the labor board has been too pro-union in its decisions. They had also vigorously opposed the nomination of Cordray.
It’s gratifying that not every judge is a liberal rubber-stamp. We need, from time to time, the assurance that in some areas the Rule of Law still exists and is honored in the courts.